My Pathfinder Initiative: Nine Months Later!

GoodNewsEveryoneOh, hey – remember me? I know it’s been quite some time since I last wrote a blog entry, and it’s been entirely too long without an update on my Pathfinder Initiative.  Lots of you have reached out to me, and it means so much that anyone cares enough to ask, let alone read this blog. Thank you for being there. It’s really hard for me to get an hour to myself to quietly sit down and think through everything in my head. More often than not, I’m rushing to another appointment, folding laundry, chasing my dogs around, or simply too mentally drained to start writing.

I have seven different drafts of this blog. I’ve been trying to write it since I got back from our cruise in March. I started feeling the same thing I did last time I tried this “reboot,” which is the crushing pressure of setting out a goal (monthly posts) for people to read, and then completely crashing and burning in my follow-through. 

So, here we are again, attempt number eight! We got this. In a recap, March and April hit me pretty hard. I started to backslide after gaining 10 pounds from our vacation. This weight, coupled with a major depressive episode, stalled me even further. When the “one year since your dog died” posts started filling my social feeds in May, all of the memories came rushing back and I felt myself struggling to breathe under the crippling despair of my anxiety and darkness. When you don’t have much escape other than home-work-home-work, wash, rinse, repeat – well, things can get pretty rough pretty fast.

19477691_10103731419816727_2502753332417506045_oEnter my girlfriends. Yeah, you heard that. GUYS, I APPARENTLY HAVE GIRLFRIENDS! You see, my beautiful, wonderful friend Anne decided to surprise me with a birthday trip here in Orlando. I would love to write more about it soon, but I ended up being surprised with not one, but THREE GIRLFRIENDS! It was like a real-life version of Bridesmaids. The trip recharged my batteries and showed me a whole new world of femmeship that I didn’t know I could experience. It was the best birthday present I could have, and I was ready to attack life with a new perspective when I got home. (Also, I really like hanging with other females, and this is a thing that I need to make happen more than once every 20 years in my life.)

Sadly, I returned home to bad news. Our cat Tonks had become incredibly sick. We received a cancer diagnosis several weeks prior, but what was months turned quickly into days, and 48 hours after my birthday, we were back at the vet putting another animal at rest.

Suffice to say, it’s been a long few months, but here I am, showing up, and finally making an update because I need to hold myself accountable and hey – maybe finish something, like, once?

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 Mission Objective: Lose the weight. BE HEALTHY.

It has been nine months and 10 days since I started to give a shit and began this initiative. I started by simply logging all of my food, and that led to me clawing my way back onto the fitness wagon. I am incredibly proud to report that as of this morning, I have lost 39 pounds. Yep, that’s right! I’ve almost lost the size of one of my dogs. I’ve surpassed my goal of being under 200 lbs by GenCon (hey, it’s next week!) by five pounds.

For this, I will absolutely give myself a 10/10. I have been intensely focused on my nutrition and fitness, completing several difficult programs, and maintaining a controlled keto lifestyle for the last two months. Keto, which I once stuck my nose up to, has been absolutely life-changing for me. For the first time in my life, I don’t have migraines. My joint pain has almost completely disappeared, and the mysterious chest pains I was experiencing this spring have vanished. I feel clear-headed, satiated, and I no longer have an addiction to sugar or carbs. Think what you want, but keto has been the complete answer for me and my ailments.

Markus has gotten into the swing of things, too, and we’re both feeling healthier and REALLY FUCKING HAPPY. I’ve graduated two pants sizes, and I’m finding that a lot of clothes that were uncomfortable are now incredibly loose. My body is changing daily, and I’m feeling strong and in control for the first time in three years. Hell. Fucking. YES!

Bonus XP: While walking into the next room, I took a step and my pants fell off of my body. The best part? I was wearing a belt! HA! 

renegon_logo_by_sailok-d3hv2ai Mission Objective: Clear the mental crap. BE POSITIVE!

This is something I continue to struggle with on an hourly basis. I dropped out of the meditation app, and I have been fighting pretty recently with major anxiety. For some reason, I’m experiencing an episode where I am attacked by persistent anxiety about death (my death, others’ death, tragic accidents, etc) and mayhem. I have also been at odds with my feelings of inadequacy and failure when it comes to the business. I know that much of this is unfounded, but I have yet to find peace with it.

I am giving myself a 1/10, because my negativity and “mental crap” is starting to affect others’ moods, too. That’s not OK.

Bonus XP: I was having an absolute shit day yesterday, so I forced myself to try on clothes for 10 minutes to acknowledge my progress. While it didn’t last, I did feel pretty good about myself during the process. 

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 Mission Objective: Better thyself, outside and in. BE CONFIDENT!

My skincare routine continues to help me with my confidence, and the weight loss has definitely had an impact. For the first time in quite a while, I am feeling good in clothes, and planning ahead! I’ve put more effort into things, but I also don’t worry about having “makeup-free Mondays” and showing my face around town. Confidence with weight loss seems like a natural progression, but I’m going to be proud of allowing myself to feel it. 8/10 – Anxiety still wins some days.

Bonus XP: Yesterday, we met up with friends for a double-date and I didn’t wear a drop of makeup. That’s definitely a first. Bonus? My friend was shocked that I wasn’t at least wearing foundation. Yeah, that made me feel good.

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 Mission Objective: Get things together. BE ORGANIZED!

While it hasn’t been perfect, I have been trying to maintain some KonMari lessons as we progress through the year. I still retain the goal of finishing the house by 2018, and I think we can do it with a little elbow grease and concentration. I have tried to keep some things organized, so while the house itself isn’t done, a lot of things are staying neat. I splurged in June and finally replaced the shitty factory chandelier as an early present to myself. This ended up being a fantastic idea, because it’s made the house look 10 times better.

I’m most proud of maintaining my clothing situation (with regards to KonMari) and regularly find myself sorting through things in small attempts to hit our end goal. Baby steps, but forward movement! Grading wise, I’m giving myself a 6/10 because there’s room for improvement and organization should be more of a priority.

Bonus XP: I had an extra hour at home to myself, so I repurposed an unused cabinet into a cleaning supply area. All of our cleaning supplies are now in one place, and it’s been wonderful to have that portion organized and easily accessible in the kitchen.

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 Mission Objective: Exercise your talents. BE CREATIVE!

Outside of work, I do not get the opportunity to exercise much creativity. I feel like I throw all of me into the pub, and maybe that isn’t such a bad thing? We’ve pulled off some incredible events so far this year, and we have a whole laundry list of more still to come. I’m particularly proud of the theme menus I created, and I’m hoping this success leads to more interior theming work. For creativity, I’m giving myself a 9/10.

Bonus XP: I designed a new front garden, a new entry design, a new kitchen design, and a bedroom gallery wall! All of these have me feeling pretty content about my inner home design skills.

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 Mission Score: 34 / 50

That’s four points higher than last time. While I am feeling mostly great about my progress, I know that I have to make some major changes with my mental health to finally nab that healthy score. So until next time, thank you for sticking with me on this journey. <3

Cheers to positive, forward movement. Shepard out.

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